Clarence Acox, Seattle JazzED Co-Founder, Quincy Jones Ensemble

An outstanding educator for over 40 years, Clarence Acox directs the award-winning Garfield High School Jazz Ensemble, which has qualified and placed among the top three bands in the Essentially Ellington competition at Jazz at Lincoln Center for many years. A native of New Orleans, he graduated from Southern University. In 2002 he received the national Educator of the Year Award from Downbeat magazine, and has been voted Earshot Jazz Musician of the Year.

“My kids often come back and tell me how much playing in the band changed their lives. Playing music — especially jazz — can do that to you. I’ve dreamed of making that experience available to every kid who wants it.”


Marina Albero
Summer Advanced Institute, Jam Session House Band

Born into the family band Grallers de Banyoles-Estampida Medieval, Marina Albero has been steeped in the sounds of Barcelona since childhood. As a young girl, extensive training in percussion and piano in both Spain and Cuba sent her on the road to early achievement and success. Albero played European festivals and was awarded the annual prize for talented youth in Brussels.

Marina has collaborated on recording projects with players like Silvio Rodríguez, and tours in Catalonia, Spain, and Portugal with the band Barnhabana, conducted by Grammy winner Barbarito Torres. Currently, Marina performs in flamenco shows with renowned dancers and companies, including the Ballet Nacional De España. 

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Amelia Albert
Summer Jazz Prep Camp, Girls Jazz Day

A Seattle native, Amelia Albert found her love for music in school, playing in the award winning Roosevelt Jazz program and the University of Washington jazz ensembles. Today she performs with a number of local groups, including Filthy Femcorps, Sebastian and the Deep Blue, Vicious Petals, Staxx Brothers and more.  Amelia is passionate about helping younger generations also find the joy that music can bring to their lives. She coaches students in the Seattle Public Schools elementary instrumental program with the Michael J. Owens Music Education Fund. She is also the music manager and woodwind teacher for the Academy of Music and Dance Ballard and Shoreline. In her spare time she is a baker of desserts, wearer of glitter, and devoted wife and dog mother. 

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Samantha Boshnack
Clark Terry & Marian McPartland Combos Co-Director, Summer Jazz Prep Camp, Girls Jazz Day

Whether blasting through the alternative sonic explorations of her 14-piece alternative chamber orchestra, B’shnorkestra, leading Seismic Belt or her own quintet, Samantha Boshnack’s sound pulses with vitality.  After getting a degree in jazz from Bard College in 2003, Boshnack moved to Seattle. She toured extensively with the modern jazz group Reptet for seven years, releasing four albums comprised mostly of her compositions. Since 2011, she has led three ensembles, released five critically-acclaimed albums, and continued to tour and present concerts, workshops, and festival performances. She is a member of the Alchemy Sound Project who have released two records. Boshnack has received support and commissioning funds from New Music USA, Meet The Composer, 4Culture, Artist Trust, Jack Straw Productions, New York Foundation of the Arts, Earshot Jazz, among others. In 2019 she is a composer fellow at the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music.  She was the 2018 Make Jazz Fellow, an annual award is sponsored by the Herb Alpert Foundation to support promising, emerging composers. 

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Marina Christopher
Summer Jazz Prep Camp, JazzED Messengers, Girls Jazz Day, Jam Session House Band

Marina Christopher is a jazz bassist and vocalist quickly gaining notoriety. Marina graduated from Central Washington University, where she studied both jazz and classical music. She has over 10 years of performing experience in jazz combos as well as big bands, salsa bands, rock bands, hip-hop groups, classical chamber groups and even a stint in a cruise ship show band. Marina has taught for several years as a private instructor and as a clinician/coach for jazz and classical music camps in the Seattle area. Marina is also an avid composer and arranger and has released two albums of her own compositions.

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Kelly Clingan
Girls Ellington Project, Louis Armstrong Ensemble Co-Director, WeBop!

Kelly Clingan is the former Director of Concert Bands and Jazz at Washington Middle School, where she taught since 2008. A graduate of Roosevelt High School and the University of Washington, she is rooted in Seattle's celebrated tradition of music education.

Kelly is a frequent adjudicator at local and regional jazz festivals, including the Lionel Hampton and Reno Jazz Festivals. She also presents and teaches at regional and national music conferences including JEN, MMEA, HMEA, ASTA, CWU, Arts Schools Network and Berklee City Music.

In 2016, Kelly was named the University of Washington GWSS Alumni of the Year for her work on gender equity in jazz. Kelly serves as Washington Area Unit President,  Diversity and Inclusion Committee Member, and Women in Jazz Committee Member for the Jazz Education Network

Kelly plays trombone in Banda Vagos, a traditional Mexican Banda, performing throughout the Puget Sound area on a weekly basis. 

Kelly recently published: 

“I am committed to driving gender and racial equity forward through music, from the beginning classroom to the professional stage. Join me in re-imagining music education that links artistic excellence to empowerment and social justice.”


Roxy Coss
Summer Advanced Institute

Roxy Coss has become one of the most unique and innovative Saxophonists on the scene. Winner of a 2016 ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award, the Downbeat Critics’ Poll listed her as a "Rising Star" on Soprano Saxophone the past five years in a row, and a Downbeat Magazine review called her "An exceptional young talent”. Originally from Seattle, and a fixture on the New York scene for over ten years, she has headlined extensively around the world, including major festivals and venues like the Newport Jazz Festival, Melbourne Big Band Festival, Earshot Jazz Festival, The Jazz Standard, and Jazz Showcase, among others.

Her band, the Roxy Coss Quintet, has held residencies at New York City clubs including SMOKE Jazz Club and Club Bonafide, appears frequently around NYC, and tours nationally. Roxy was a featured guest musician on the television show Harry in 2017. She is also the Founder of Women In Jazz Organization (WIJO), and serves on the Board of Directors of Jazz Education Network (JEN).


Willem de Koch
Summer Jazz Prep Camp, Summer Jazz Ambassadors

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Willem de Koch is a trombonist, composer, and educator. He is co-founder of The Westerlies, the brass quartet whose music “occupies a lively territory between jazz, Stephen Foster-styled folk and chamber music with bracing melodies and, crucially, an undeniable sense of fun” (Chris Barton, LA Times). In addition to his work with The Westerlies, Willem has performed with a wide variety of artists including improvisational-music luminaries Wayne Horvitz and Bill Frisell, electronic music duo Odesza, indie-rock songstress Feist, and jazz legends Wycliffe Gordon and George Duke, among others. Willem has performed in a wide variety of venues, from the world-renowned Carnegie Hall and Hollywood Bowl, to hole-in-the-wall jazz clubs and living rooms. He strives to bring people together to build strong communities through music, and seeks to break down the barriers of genre to create a more integrated and inclusive musical landscape.

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Tina Dietz
JazzED in the Schools, Girls Jazz Day

Christina Dietz learned to sing at church in Chimacum, Washington. She added ukulele to her repertoire in 2013, studying with roots music master Lightnin' Wells at the Pt. Townsend Acoustic Blues Festival. When she is not performing as Teeny Deets, she works at Bainbridge Gardens while pursuing a degree in horticulture.


Alex Dugdale
Summer Jazz Prep Camp

Alex Dugdale was born in Cali, Colombia and was raised in Seattle from an early age. When he was 6 he began taking tap dance lessons with Cheryl Johnson and Anthony Peters.  At age 10, he began playing clarinet in his elementary school band and the next year he performed at the NYC Tap Festival.  He started playing saxophone in 6th grade and continued through high school.  Alex continued his musical studies in Rochester, NY at the Eastman School of Music, obtaining a degree in Jazz Performance.  Alex returned to Seattle in December 2012, and continues to perform and teach music and dance in the Seattle area.  He currently works for Bishop Blanchet High School in their Grade School Band Program as well as working with Edmonds-Woodway High School and Eckstein Middle School. 

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Ruby Dunphy
JazzED in the Schools, Summer Jazz Prep Camp

Ruby Dunphy is a Chicago born Seattle based composer, teacher and percussionist. Graduating with a bachelors in music from Cornish College of The Arts in 2018, she has played all around Seattle and has toured throughout the states and Europe. She is currently teaching at Creative Music Adventures, School of Rock, and JazzEd as well as consistently playing in various Seattle clubs and venues playing any and all genres of music.


Haley Freedlund
Count Basie Ensemble Co-Director, Summer Jazz Prep Camp, Girls Jazz Day

Haley Freedlund is a trombonist and vocalist, working primarily in free improvisation, new works, and creative/jazz-rooted music. She has been based in Seattle since 2011, where she earned a BM in Jazz Performance from Cornish College of the Arts and has since established herself as a multi-disciplinary powerhouse in the performing arts community. 

Haley is a frequent collaborator with Wayne Horvitz, Tom Varner, Christian Pincock, Karl Blau, and Ruby Dunphy (Thunderpussy). She has enjoyed collaborations with Heatwarmer, Cherdonna Shinatra, iji, Phillip Greenlief, Sam Lachow, BATTERY, and St. Paul de Vence. 

As a producer and manager, Haley has working relationships with Darcy James Argue, Ahamefule J. Oluo, The Westerlies, ings, Racer Sessions, Seattle Improvised Music Festival, and Earshot Jazz among others. 

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Rex Gregory
Jazz Prep Woodwinds Ensemble, Summer Jazz Prep Camp, Webop Band Week

Currently a Seattle-based saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist, Rex Gregory has performed and/or recorded with a diverse array of luminaries such as Aretha Franklin, Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, Rickie Lee Jones, Jason Marsalis, Stanton Moore, Derek Smith aka Pretty Lights, Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, and many others. In addition, Rex is known for his composition and arranging abilities which are featured on his independently released studio recordings An End to Oblivion and Rocket Summer. Formerly an adjunct professor at Tulane University and at New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts, in addition to guest teaching at numerous institutions, Rex is also an experienced music educator at all levels. He is a comfortable addition anywhere and everywhere. 

Tracy Hagen
JazzED in the Schools, Summer Jazz Prep Camp

Tracy Hagen's cello performing has taken her through many genres of music, including classical, jazz, rock, and punk, and to many parts of the world as well. Tracy has won several awards for her playing including scholarships, orchestral positions, and awards from University of Puget Sound, Max Aronoff Viola Institute, and the Washington State division of Music Teacher's National Association.  A graduate cum laude of Cornish College of the Arts, Tracy strives to impart the knowledge and love of playing she's gained from many prominent cellists and musicians to the next generation of musicians through compassionate and engaging lessons, and through a positive, supportive, and nurturing environment.

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Jared Hall
Summer Jazz Prep Camp

Jared Hall (D.M.A.) regularly performs with the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, Symphony Tacoma, Ron Jones’ Jazz Forest, the 5th Avenue Theatre and many of the regions outstanding ensembles.  His quintet holds a monthly residency at Tula's Jazz Club and recently performed at the 2018 Gene Harris Jazz Festival.  As a clinician and educator, Hall has served Boise State University, Pacific Lutheran University, Whitworth University, Eastern Washington University, Western Washington University and Tacoma Community College, in additional to many local high school programs and jazz festivals. 


Sidney Hauser
Summer Jazz Prep Camp

A musician and artist from Whidbey Island, Sidney Hauser has been playing saxophone for 13 years. She attended the University of Washington where she received a minor in music performance and a BA in painting and drawing. Since her graduation in 2016 she has become very musically involved in the Seattle area and has played in bands such as The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, The Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra, the Jazz Police and her own band Smacktalk. She works full-time at a Montessori school as a teacher’s assistant and does commissioned portraiture on the side.

Wayne Horvitz
New Works Ensembles

Composer, pianist, and keyboardist, Wayne Horvitz performs extensively throughout Europe, Japan, and North America. He is the leader of Sweeter Than the Day, Zony Mash, The 4 Plus 1 Ensemble, the Gravitas Quartet and co-founder of the New York Composer Orchestra. A prolific composer, he has been commissioned by the Seattle Chamber Players, the Icicle Creek Trio, Kronos, BAM, Meet The Composer BAM and others. He has produced albums for Eddie Palmieri, Fontella Bass, Robin Holcomb and Bill Frisell among others. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the 2016 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award for jazz, the 2008 NEA American Masterpieces Award, and the 2003 Rockefeller Map Grant. He is the music programmer for The Royal Room, a performance venue in Seattle, Washington, and a professor of composition at the Cornish College of the Arts.

“The JazzED New Works Ensemble fills in the cracks with classic jazz from lesser known composers, famous jazz artists who do not get presented in big bands, band leaders and arrangers who tend to be relegated to the fringes, and modern composers. My ensemble fuses the best of classical and jazz ensemble traditions with an emphasis on improvisation and even the creation of new works by living composers, especially students.”


Robert Knatt
Director Emeritus

A recipient of the Washington State Golden Apple Award, Robert Knatt has been an educator for over 35 years, most recently at Washington Middle School, where he directed the award-winning middle school jazz ensembles and concert bands. A native of New Iberia, LA, he graduated from Grambling State University. He has inspired thousands of students and helped them develop the discipline to perform jazz at the highest levels.

“A lot of people are surprised when they hear for themselves just how good a middle school or high school jazz band can be. But I know for a fact that when you raise the bar high, kids rise up and play at that level. My job is to set that bar.”


Kareem Kandi
Art Blakey Combo, Sonny Rollins Combo, Summer Jazz Prep Camp

Since 1996, Kareem Kandi has been performing both as a bandleader and as a sideman to enthusiastic audiences around the world at concert halls, festivals, and clubs. Kareem has performed, toured and recorded with musicians including: Patti Labelle, Ali Jackson, D’vonne Lewis, Bill Watrous, The Seattle Symphony, Julian Priester, The Paperboys, The Tacoma Symphony, Alex Duncan, Frazey Ford, DJ Hapa, The Polyrhythmics, Bill Ramsay, The Staxx Brothers, Greta Matassa, The Temptations, Hadley Caliman, The Four Tops, The Harry James Orchestra, and many others. He received a full scholarship to attend Cornish College of the Arts.  As an educator Kareem maintains a busy schedule teaching at The Tacoma School of the Arts as an artist in residence. Along with his teaching duties he is also the director of the Tacoma Jazz Association, serves on the Tacoma Arts Commission, and is a D’Addario Woodwinds performing artist.

Al Keith
Summer Jazz Prep Camp, JazzED Messengers, WeBop! Band Week

Trumpet player Al Keith is a fixture on the Seattle music scene. His playing credits locally as 1st Trumpet or featured soloist include theRoyal Room Collective Music Ensemble; David Marriott's Triskadeka band, The Emerald City Jazz Orchestra; and The Sonny Clark Memorial Sextet. Other credits include the Cab Calloway Orchestra; Manhattan Transfer; Natalie Cole; Ray Charles; Bobby Caldwell and a tour with the Tommy Dorsey Band. As lead trumpet he has performed with British crooner Jamie Cullum and The Washington Composers Orchestra. Recording credits include work for PBS, Universal Vivendi, and dozens of local and National CD's. Al maintains a private teaching studio from his home in North Seattle, and is faculty brass instructor at Shoreline Community College.


Johnaye Kendrick
Summer Vocal Institute

Johnaye Kendrick was born and raised in San Diego, CA. She received a Bachelor of Music from Western Michigan University in 2005. She received an Artist’s Diploma from the Thelonious Monk Institute and a Masters Degree in Jazz Studies from Loyola University in 2009.  Johnaye has been a featured vocalist with the Ellis Marsalis Quartet and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra.  The Orchestra won a Grammy® Award in the 2009 for “Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album” category for their release Book 1 on which Ms. Kendrick is featured. Johnaye has performed at numerous festivals, concert halls and jazz clubs, including the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Rio das Ostras Jazz Festival , Burghausen Jazz Festival, International Jazz Festival Bern, Playboy Jazz Festival, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Dizzy’s Club, Jazz Gallery, Chicago Symphony Center, Snug Harbor and Birdland with Nicholas Payton, Ellis Marsalis, Sean Jones or John Ellis.

The legendary Jimmy Heath says that "Johnaye is not just a vocalist. She is a complete musician with a beautiful instrument and open ears."   A dedicated educator, Johnaye resides in Seattle where she serves as an Associate Professor of Jazz Voice at Cornish College of the Arts.


Brian Kirk
Melba Liston Ensemble

Brian Kirk is a percussionist, composer, and educator from Indianapolis, Indiana. He holds a B.A. in Music from California State University East Bay and a M.A. in Jazz Contemporary Music from New York University. The son of Indianapolis Hall of Fame drummer and educator Dr. Willis Kirk, Brian grew up in San Francisco where he performed with musical greats including Gladys Knight, Marlena Shaw, and Joe Henderson.

Brian spent ten years in New York City where he was a member of numerous bands and performed with Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Locke, and Andrew Hill among others, as well as appearing with ensembles including The Lionel Hampton Orchestra, The Count Basie Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony, and Philadelphia Pops Orchestra. Mr. Kirk was also first call on New York 's Broadway show scene, performing in shows including Ain't Misbehavin', Five Guys Named Moe, and Fiddler on the Roof. Brian has made numerous recordings including the soundtracks from "Philadelphia" starring Tom Hanks, "The Money Train", and "A Rage in Harlem" starring Forrest Whitaker.

Mr. Kirk is a Professor of Jazz, Electronic Music, Music Theory, and Percussion at Seattle Central College and is an active member of the Washington Music Educators Association.

Ricardo Luna
Count Basie Ensemble Co-Director, Latin Collective Combo, Jazz Prep Brass Ensemble, Summer Jazz Ambassadors, Summer Jazz Prep Camp

Ricardo Luna is a music educator and trombonist from Los Angeles, California. He recently moved to Seattle and is currently working on his Washington State teaching certificate at the University of Washington. Before coming to Seattle, Ricardo worked for the Los Angeles School District’s Beyond the Bell Branch coordinating after-school music programs, ensembles and events that continue to positively impact students throughout the district. His most recent work included creating and teaching the BTB after-school community music program which provided quality music education for elementary and middle school students in under-served neighborhoods.


Stuart MacDonald
Benny Goodman Ensemble

Saxophonist Stuart MacDonald was born in Seattle and attended Seattle Public Schools. He was introduced to jazz music as a member of the stage band at Meany Middle School, under the direction of Wadie Ervin. Stuart then spent 4 years as a member of the jazz band at Roosevelt High School, directed by Scott Brown.

Following short stints at Cornish College of the Arts (Seattle) and Berklee School of Music (Boston), Stuart returned to Seattle, playing with many of the Northwest’s top musicians and ensembles. In 2005, he rejoined the jazz program at Roosevelt, where he directed Jazz Bands II & III until 2015. Stuart then resumed his studies at the University of Washington, graduating with a Master’s Degree in Jazz and Improvised Music in 2018.

In December of 2018, Stuart was awarded a multi-year grant by the Raynier Foundation, for the purpose of promoting “intergenerational collaborations” among musicians throughout the region. He currently maintains an active performing schedule and private saxophone studio.

Photo by Steve Korn

David Marriott, Jr.
JazzED in the Schools, Summer Jazz Prep Camp, House Arranger

A two-time Earshot Jazz Golden Ear Award recipient and winner of the 1999 National Jazz Trombone Competition, David Marriott, Jr. is an in-demand soloist in a variety of Seattle jazz groups, including the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, Emerald City Jazz Orchestra, Washington Composers Orchestra, Zubatto Syndicate and his own critically-acclaimed groups Septology, Pop Culture and Triskaidekaband. 

David has served as director of the jazz bands at both the University of Washington and Edmonds Community College, and teaches at many summer workshops each year including the University of Washington Jazz Workshop, Drayton Harbor Music Festival, and Shoreline Jazz Camp. David is also an active recording artist, having appeared on over fifty albums to date in styles ranging from jazz to hip-hop, from blues to Broadway, from salsa to soukous. David Marriott, Jr. is a Yamaha Performing Artist and endorses Yamaha trombones.

Dmitri Matheny
Clark Terry & Marian McPartland Combos Co-Director, Summer Jazz Prep Camp

First introduced to jazz audiences in the 1990s as the protégé of Art Farmer, Dmitri Matheny has matured into “one of the jazz world's most talented horn players” (San Francisco Chronicle). Matheny has toured extensively throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. He has performed with the Temptations, Martha Reeves, Fabian, the Four Tops, Bobby Vinton, Sandy Patty, Bobby Rydell, Frankie Avalon and the O'Jays.

Matheny has held teaching faculty and management positions with the Boston Center for the Arts, California Jazz Conservatory, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art,  and the Stanford Jazz Workshop. He has served as Director of Education, Director of Development and Director of Corporate Sponsorships for SFJAZZ, the largest nonprofit jazz presenter on the west coast, as Assistant Education Director for the Thelonious Monk Institute Jazz Colony at Jazz Aspen Snowmass, and as Artist-In-Residence at several universities and conservatories.

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Chris Mena
JazzED in the Schools, Curriculum Specialist, Summer Jazz Prep Camp

Chris Mena is currently a PhD student in music education at the University of Washington, Seattle. As a multi-instrumentalist, Chris has been involved in various music groups including a recording collaboration with the pipa virtuoso Wu Man that was recently nominated for a Independent Music Award. He is also a co-author of the book World Music Pedagogy Vol. IV: Secondary Instrumental Music.

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Kelsey Mines
Jazz Prep Strings Ensemble, Summer Jazz Prep Camp, Summer Jazz Ambassadors, Girls Jazz Day, WeBop Band Week

A Seattle native, Kelsey Mines is a performer, composer, and teacher of the double bass. Kelsey earned her Bachelor of Music in Double Bass Performance from the University of Washington with professor Barry Lieberman. She went on to complete a Masters in Double Bass Performance from Arizona State University under the direction of Catalin Rotaru. Kelsey has followed her passion for the double bass to the Netherlands, where she studied at Prince Claus Conservatoire before returning to Seattle where she now teaches and performs a variety of styles, from jazz to classical to pop. Wherever she may be, Kelsey aspires to create, collaborate, and perform music that enriches and enlivens the world around her.


Sherrill Mitchell
Jazz Prep Piano and Choir Ensemble, Nina Simone Vocal Ensemble Accompanist

Sherrill Mitchell, a native of Louisiana, developed a love for music at an early age following the lead of his parents. Unaware of God's calling and anointing on his life, he gravitated towards percussion and drumming initially, but eventually took an interest in the piano and learned to play by ear. Since the early years, Sherrill has grown musically through an array of studies as well as some great mentors along the way, including Vivian Perryman, Minister Darryl Hawk, Minister Phil Curry, Minister Grady Austin and Pastor Cora Jackson. Currently he shares his gifts with several ministries around the Greater Seattle area.

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Kathy Moore
Emily Remler Combo, Wes Montgomery Combo, Summer Jazz Prep Camp, Girls Jazz Day

Kathy Moore is a seasoned professional performing and teaching in and around Seattle for nearly twenty years.   She is a guitarist- multi instrumentalist, singer songwriter, composer song arranger and studio musician who has performed with Thaddeus Turner (Digable Planets), Crystal Beth and the Boom Boom Band, Mike McCready, Shawn Smith, Brad, Tiny Orchestral Movements, Wayne Horvitz’s Electric Circus, Satchel, Kim Virant,    Barrett Martin, Grace Love, Flight to Mars, Edinburough Fringe Festival, Ballard Jazz Fest Guitar Summit and Theater shows Passing strange, Operation Mindcrime, Soft Rock Kid, Houses of the Unholy, Alien Angel Guessing Game, She hosts an evening at the Substation every month called Synthesis New and Experimental Music which promotes the new and original works of various  Seattle Artists in music, video, and dance.


Riley Mulherkar
Summer Advanced Institute

Riley Mulherkar has been recognized as a “smart young trumpet player” by The New York Times and praised by The Wall Street Journal as a “youngster to keep an eye on.” As a bandleader, Riley is a founding member of The Westerlies, a new music brass quartet that has premiered over 50 new works since its inception in 2011, creating the rarest of hybrids: music that is both “folk-like and composerly, lovely and intellectually rigorous” (NPR Music).

As a musical director, Riley has worked with a number of leading artists of our time, including NEA Jazz Masters Wynton Marsalis and Dee Dee Bridgewater. Riley also serves as Artistic Director for Jazz at The Joye in Aiken Festival, bringing leading young musicians, actors and dancers to the historic city of Aiken, South Carolina.

Born and raised in Seattle, Riley moved to New York in 2010 to study at The Juilliard School, where he completed his Bachelor’s Degree in 2014 and his Master’s in 2015, receiving the Knowles Prize for Jazz and the Peter Mennin Prize for outstanding achievement and leadership in music. He is also an inaugural recipient of Juilliard’s Marks Fellowship. In 2011, Riley was named a “rising jazz artist” by Wynton Marsalis in JET magazine, and in 2014 was the first recipient of the Laurie Frink Career Grant at the Festival of New Trumpet Music.


Davy Nefos
JazzED Messengers, Jam Session House Band

Davy Nefos is as versatile as it gets when it comes to performing on drum set in styles of afro-cuban, brazilian, jazz, modern rock, drumline, EDM, hip-hop and modern big band. He received a bachelors degree in percussion performance from Central Washington University. Davy has been playing drums for 30 years and teaching privately to all ages for 20 years. Currently he is head instructor for the Lake Stevens High School drum-line and drum set professor at Edmonds Community College. Nefos has performed with Thomas Marriott, David Marriott, Jon Sanders, Alexey Nikolaev, Frank DeMeiro, Kim Nazarian, Greta Matasa, Jean Caze, The Jazz Pearls, The Jazz Police, Jim Cutler Big Band, Emerald City Jazz Orchestra, Northwest Big Band, The Seattle Jazz Singers, Tetrabox, Real Don Music, Papa Josh Trio and Maque Attack.


Rachel Nesvig
JazzED Youth Orchestra

Inspired by her Norwegian roots, Rachel has built a career around her love of music, performance, teaching, and Scandinavian tradition. She earned her BA in Music and Norwegian from St. Olaf College in 2007, followed by a master’s degree in Violin Performance and K-12 Teaching Certificate from Central Washington University in 2011. Rachel completed additional studies in both classical and jazz violin at the Music Conservatory of the University of Stavanger, Norway, also using the opportunity to polish her Norwegian language skills. Although violin is her main jam, Rachel is an avid Hardanger Fiddler (the national folk instrument of Norway), an aspiring violist, an enthusiastic conductor, and a novice improv actor!

Rachel’s love of playing music includes her dedication to teaching. She absolutely loves coaching summer camps such as the Seattle Rock Orchestra Summer Intensive, Icicle Creek Summer Symphony, and Pipestone Music Camp. In her time not creating music, Rachel coordinates gigs as the booking manager for Oahu Strings. Apart from freelancing in Seattle, traveling is one of Rachel's favorite activities. She hopes to continue to play all types of music for audiences around the world.

Kate Olson
Summer Jazz Prep Camp, Girls Jazz Day, Improvisation Workshops

Kate Olson can be heard performing with her own projects Syrinx Effect, KO SOLO, and the KO Ensemble and as a collaborator with Ask the Ages, the Seattle Rock Orchestra, the Royal Room Collective Music Ensemble and Electric Circus (led by Wayne Horvitz), the Seattle Jazz Composer's Ensemble and multiple other groups. 

Kate has a BA in Music from the University of Wyoming and an MM in Improvisation from the University of Michigan. Kate’s international resume includes performances in Russia, Latvia, Turkey, Switzerland and Slovakia. She has appeared on stage with Terry Riley, Stuart Dempster, Pauline Oliveros, Allison Miller, Bobby Previte, Skerik, Patricia Barber and pop music icons Elvis Costello, Brandi Carlile, Sir Mix-a-lot and Big Star's Third, among others. In 2011 and 2013, Kate was nominated for the Earshot Golden Ear Award in the Emerging Artist category, and in 2014 she was nominated for the Best NW Instrumentalist Category. 

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Shaina Shepherd
Nina Simone Vocal Ensemble, Girls Jazz Day

Inspired by the parallels between gospel and garbage metal, Shaina Shepherd is not your average vocalist. Living in the city where both Soundgarden and Quincy Jones cut their teeth, Shaina lends her soulful voice to projects of all genres.


Jim Sisko
College Fair Audition Workshop

Jim Sisko has become one of the most sought-after teachers, and performers in the Northwest. The Jim Sisko Quintet has been featured at countless festivals and concert venues, including the Port Townsend Jazz Festival, Bumbershoot, The Art of Jazz Series and Jazz Under the Stars. He has performed with The Glenn Miller Orchestra, Natalie Cole, Barry Manilow, The Manhattan Transfer, and the rock band Yes to name a few. Jim has served as principal trumpet for the Yakima Symphony and has performed with the Seattle Symphony as well. He can be heard on over 40 motion picture soundtracks, and many independent c.d. projects. Sisko’s trumpet students are well versed in both classical and jazz styles and are consistently recognized as some of the strongest players in the region. Jim has served as a Camp Director for Jazz camps throughout the Northwest and is currently the director of the Shoreline Jazz Camp. In addition to his home teaching studio, Jim is the director of the Instrumental Music program at Bellevue College and is the director of the award-winning Bellevue College Jazz Bands.

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Jerome Smith
JazzED in the the Schools, JazzED Messengers, Summer Jazz Prep Camp, Summer Second Line Project

Born in Austin, TX, Jerome Smith has been a professional musician for
almost 20 years. Playing music has taken him all over the world
including Los Angeles for the Grammy's; Orlando for Disney
World show bands, Beijing and Shanghai, China on orchestra tours,
United Kingdom and South America on Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Lines; teaching at the International School of Moscow, Russia, just to name a few. Jerome has also worked with Arturo Sandoval, Carlos Santana, Bobby Caldwell, Robert Glasper, and others in his professional career. He delights in teaching, as music enriches the soul.

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Jessika Smith
Summer Jazz Prep Camp

Jessika Smith is an award-winning jazz composer, saxophonist, and music educator. Originally from Spokane, Washington, she currently teaches K-8 Music at Prairie Mountain School in Eugene, Oregon. She directs the Eugene Composer's Big Band, the Jessika Smith Big Band, and plays frequently with other jazz groups in the Eugene area. Jessika studied Jazz Composition/Arranging with Steve Owen at the University of Oregon (MM Jazz Studies), and received her Bachelor of Music Education from Eastern Washington University. Jessika is the first winner of the Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra Composition Contest, and is the first female winner of the NBA Young Jazz Composer Contest.

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Tony Sodano
Jazz Percussion Prep Ensemble, Drumming Rudiments Boot Camp, JazzED Drumline Project, Summer Second Line Project, Summer Jazz Prep Camp

Tony Sodano received his Master's degree in Music Education from Washington State University as a multi-instrumentalist focusing on electric bass, percussion and guitar. During his studies, he composed for and instructed the Washington State University Marching Band Drumline. After receiving his Master's, Tony spent two years working with Celebrity Cruises playing bass in their show band around the world.

As the former band director at Garfield High School, he ran the marching and concert bands along with the award winning drumline program. He is the assistant director of the Seahawks Blue Thunder Drumline and has performed with Kenny Aronoff, David Garibaldi, Alan White, Scott Mercado, Owuor Arunga, Michael Derosier, Scott Rockenfield, Ryan Lewis & Macklemore.

Mark Taylor
JazzED Messengers

Mark Taylor is one of the most in demand saxophonists in the Pacific Northwest. A Seattle native and resident, Mark’s personal sound and style are a fixture on the local jazz scene and have given him opportunities to perform for audiences all over the United States and Japan. Mark performs and records extensively with such diverse and award winning groups as Matt Jorgensen +451, Jim Knapp Orchestra, Frieze of Life, Victor Noriega Trio + 2, Tom Varner’s Tentet and Quintet, Thomas Marriott, Wayne Horvitz, Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, and the Randy Halberstadt Quintet. 

As an educator, Mark has a full studio of private students and is a highly sought after guest artist and clinician for festivals, workshops, and clinics throughout the region. He holds a BM from the University of Washington (1994), and MM from the Manhattan School of Music (2000) in New York City where his performance credentials include appearances with the Grammy Award winning Vanguard Jazz Orchestra.

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Steve Treseler
Fall Jazz Clubs, Jam Sessions House Band

Steve Treseler is a Seattle-based saxophonist, composer, teaching artist, and author who performs and leads creative music workshops across the U.S. He and trumpeter Ingrid Jensen are co-leaders of the album Invisible Sounds on Whirlwind Recordings, a project that was featured in the New York Times, DownBeat, and on NPR’s Jazz Night in America.

Treseler grew up in the midst of Seattleʼs grunge scene before moving to Boston to pursue his studies on scholarship at New England Conservatory, where he studied with jazz legends Jerry Bergonzi, Bob Brookmeyer, George Garzone, and Steve Lacy, He holds a Master of Music degree in Jazz Studies and Improvised Music from the University of Washington where he worked with avant-garde trumpeter Cuong Vu.

Creative music education is an integral part of Steve’s ongoing work. He has designed improvisation courses at University of Washington and Seattle Pacific University, and he is the director of summer jazz workshops at Mountlake Terrace High School and College Place Middle School. Steve is the author of two instructional books on improvisation which are used in classrooms around the country, and he has presented clinics at Berklee College of Music, New England Conservatory, Jazz Education Network National Conference, WMEA, and California Jazz Conservatory.

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Eric Verlinde
WeBop Piano Accompanist, Summer Vocal Institute

Pianist Eric Verlinde has excited audiences worldwide with his energetic and passionate performances. He is in high demand and is constantly performing, refining the sound and creating new music. His different groups create music that is creative, spontaneous, superbly structured and melodic. Currently, he works with Josephine Howell at El Gaucho, The EntreMundos Quarteto (a Brazilian samba ensemble) and a number of top Northwest musicians.

He has played music with legends like: Arturo Sandoval, Randy Brecker, Eric Alexander, Terell Stafford, Mark Murphy, Luis Conte, Thelma Huston, Floyd Standifer, Buddy Cattlet, Bryan Lynch, Hadley Caliman, Francine Reed, Bobby Medina, Thomas Marriott and Bill Waltrous.

Dan Wickham
Louis Armstrong Ensemble Co-Director

Dan Wickham is an active performer on woodwinds in the northwest best known for his work performing and recording on clarinet with the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra (SRJO) and the award winning Banda Vagos. Dan has toured with the Temptations, the Harry James Orchestra, the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra and more recently Banda Vagos.  Dan’s range and versatility on all woodwinds can be seen by performances with the Seattle Symphony, Clint Holmes, the Cab Calloway Orchestra, Brian Bromberg, Alice Stewart, Shameless Hussy, Doctor Funk, Molasses, and Type A.  Dan can be seen regularly with The Grooving Higher Orchestra, Banda Vagos and los Choyeros among many others.


Darrius Willrich
Jazz Prep Piano Ensemble, JazzED Messengers, Summer Jazz Prep Camp

Darrius Willrich is a trained jazz pianist, a soulful singer, and an intelligent songwriter, with a love for hip-hop. With a degree in jazz piano, a voice full of tone, and songwriting rich in sensitivity, his songs take you back and propel you forward all at once. Darrius’ years of experience as an instrumentalist, sideman, leader, producer and recording artist, allow him to paint soul using a rich and diverse sonic palette of warm colors and textures. In addition to his own project the Darrius Willrich Band, he has performed with many projects including Eternity Ministries Church, Michael v Prince Band, Seattle Rock Orchestra, Choklate, Hadley Caliman Quartet, Jazz Offering, Source of Labor, Maktub and Big World Breaks.